The Telluride Jazz Festival and its programs represent music education of the highest order. World class Jazz musicians bring their talent, skills, and knowledge to our community, sharing them all on the Town Park Main Stage, Free Stage at Wilkinson Public Library, Jazz After Dark historic venues, Telluride School District and other regional education institutions. Jazz music, as America’s unique art form, is at the heart of our programming, and we are always looking for new ways to reach and grow our audience with ticketed and free performances.
The Telluride Jazz Festival is supported by contributors and sponsors like Raynier Institute and Foundation, Dworbell Inc., The Telluride Foundation, The Telluride Council for Community Assistance, Arts and Special Events (CCAASE), Colorado Council on the Arts, and The National Endowment for the Arts that make the following programs happen.
Telluride Student All-Stars Jazz Ensemble
Telluride Jazz Festival’s signature Educational Scholarship Program is the Telluride Student All-Star Jazz Ensemble. Serious Jazz students from age 13 – 18 are invited to send audition recordings of their musical skills to our educators Prof. Bob Montgomery and Josh Quinlan. Jazz instructors accept elite musicians to travel to Telluride the week preceding the festival to work on compositions and study music together.
The Telluride Student All-Stars Jazz Ensemble perform around town the week leading up to the festival weekend, and they are then rewarded with an opening performance on the Town Park Main Stage. In recent years, many former Telluride Student All-Stars have ascended to becoming featured acts on the Town Park Main Stage, with the most recent being Alex Brown. The All-Star Scholarship Program is supported by individual contributions, grants, and the sponsorship of Dworbell, Inc..
Artists in the Schools Program
Telluride Jazz Festival’s Artists in the Schools programs offer informal music education to area youth. Visiting musicians in town for the WinterJazz programs give their time, talent, and energy to this program by performing and interacting with area students. Jazz contacts schools throughout the region and invites all interested students to join in the performance at the Michael D. Palm Theater. It is followed by an open question and answer session where students get to ask the performers the details of their craft. Jazz collaborates closely with the Telluride School District and the new Music Director Tuck Gillette who generously support this program.
Artists in the Library
Artists in the Library takes place on the patio at the Wilkinson Library and is now in its 13th year. These two programs focus on young people, library patrons, and the general public offering free music as part of the Telluride Jazz Festival. One of these programs reaches out to the Hispanic community with Latino artists and the other is an interactive, educational performance in which families are invited to join in with the music. Last summer Telluride Jazz Festival took the Friday performance to the local Farmers Market where the Wilkinson Library hosts the summer kids program for some lively banda music with Anexo al Norte from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Telluride Jazz works closely with the Five-Star Wilkinson Public Library and the Stillwater Foundation to produce these programs.
Free Jazz Project
The Free Jazz Project, now in its 7th year, produces five music programs and an annual soccer tournament in conjunction with the Telluride Jazz Festival. At its heart is sharing the music with the entire community, with a special invitation to our growing Latino and foreign guest community. There are free programs at the Raynier Free Stage in Elks Park, the Wilkinson Public Library, and St. Patrick’s Catholic Church Spanish services as well as a Soccer Tournament in the Hanley Pavilion in Town Park. There is a lively Fiesta in Elks Park on the Sunday of the Jazz Festival with music, a piñata for the kids, dancing, food and fun. These programs began with support from the Colorado Council on the Arts through the National Endowment for the Arts and matching funds were provided locally. Telluride Jazz collaborates with One Telluride to make the Fiesta in Elks Park and the Soccer Tournament successes and to continue this worthwhile community outreach.
Wilkinson Public Library Free Stage
The Free Stage at Wilkinson Public Library offers an alternative to those who want to participate in the Telluride Jazz Festival without stretching their pocketbook. Live performances and an exclusive panel discussion take place here throughout the weekend. The panel discussion invites Jazz artists and media to tackle issues that are current in the Jazz music world, as well as answering questions from the audience.
Regional and National Student Performances
High School and College Bands and Ensembles are invited to participate in the Jazz Celebration. This program offers students travel subsidies, food, lodging and general and backstage admission to the Town Park so they may have the opportunity to interact with jazz legends and experience the production side of the event. In 2013 dozens of students traveled to Telluride including the Telluride Student All-Star Jazz Ensemble and the Voodoo Orchestra. In 2014 the Telluride Jazz Festival will host the Telluride All-Stars 20th Reunion Group, Caleb Chapman’s Crescent Super Band, Young Razzcals Jazz Project, and of course the Telluride Student All-Star Jazz Ensemble.